There's little doubt the Ross Township Planning Commission has its work cut out for itself when it meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room at the Ross Municipal Center. Three big projects are on the agenda.
Heartland Homes Development of Highland Country Club
A skeptical crowd of 150-200 residents attended the Nov. 29 planning commission meeting when An attorney for the new owner of the former Highland Country Club, and an landscape architect laid out plans for a 300 home development .
Steven Victor, of the landscape architecture firm Victor-Wetzel, said the land would be carved up for 300 single-family and townhomes. The key points:
- 130 single family homes ranging in price from $350,000 - $500,000.
- 170 Townhouses priced in the low $200,000 range.
- 2 entrances along Highland Avenue leading to the single family homes.
- 2 entrances along Gass Road and 1 along Golf Drive leading to the townhomes.
- Each home and townhome will have a 2-car garage and a driveway large enough for 2 additional vehicles.
- A traffic study would be conducted, in conjunction with PennDOT and Ross Township police to determine what changes may be necessary to mitigate the impact of the increased number of vehicles from the development.
About a dozen residents spoke after the presentation, most expressing concern about the increased traffic the development would bring to Highland Avenue, Gass Road, and Golf Drive, which border the current country club property.
The planning commission is expected to make a recommendation Thursday night. Final approval must come from the Ross Township board of commissioners. Their next meeting is Jan. 7.
Rezoning of Northway Elementary Property
That application comes before the planning commission Thursday night.
Levey & Company bought the former Northway Mall Dec. 4, and have an agreement to purchase the adjacent Northway Elementary school , which is currently the temporary home of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
It plans to redevelop both properties into what Gary G. O'Nesti, special projects director for Levey and Company, described as a "mixed hybrid facility."
"It'll be a mixed-use development with retail restaurants hopefully, entertainment, something that will enhance the property and enhance the environment for shopping in the area and on this property," he said. "That's part of the challenge to work through that and then get it to work and get the facility to operate appropriately."
At a meeting at the mall on Dec. 5, nearby residents expressed concerns about increased traffic, particularly along Brown's Lane.
Commissioner Peter Ferraro tried to ease those fears.
"We recognize there's a lot of concerns from the residents and we intend to address all these concerns that you have," he said. "The traffic on Brown's Lane will at the forefront of the discussions we will have with Levey and company. We'll do whatever we can to alleviate the congestion that you are concerned about on Brown's Lane."
Cemetery Lane Townhouses
When Raymond Caldwell, Jr. bought a 6.2-acre parcel of land at 173 Cemetery Lane in Ross Township, the land was no more than a rocky hillside.
Several years and tons of earth later, the lot is now seven acres of mostly flat land, ready for development.
Are you planning to attend Thursday's meeting? What do you think of all of these different development plans. Share your thoughts in the comments box below.